The Kairos Torch program is the way Kairos reaches out to juvenile offenders, saying “There’s a better way.”
The Kairos Torch program encourages young offenders to realise their potential through creating a safe environment, allowing them to learn what life can be like in a loving, caring and trusting community.
The goals of Kairos Torch are:
- to provide a safe place for exploration (emotionally and spiritually);
- to offer unconditional acceptance;
- to encourage the sharing of life journeys and help troubled youth realise there is a potential to stop the cycle before they get in too deeply;
- to foster personal growth in all its forms; and
- to promote participation in the long-term mentoring process that is a core part of the Kairos Torch program.
All of this has the overriding goal of enhancing positive self-esteem, promoting constructive life choices, developing relationship and community and stopping the spiral that can only lead to further trouble.
Kairos Torch takes place over several days and includes a series of talks by highly trained and experienced team leaders. The participants have the opportunity to review each talk in a small group (promoting sharing and communication at a different level than they are often used to). The talks are interspersed with music, fun activities, meals, gifts and time to develop personal relationships.
Sadly for some, this is the first time in their lives that they are able to receive without a demand for something in return, or put away the masks and just be themselves.
After the actual ‘course’ time, a regular visiting and personal mentoring program is established so that the participants know that they have ongoing support and have a mentor that they can learn to trust and who is there for them unconditionally and who asks for nothing in return.
The team leaders, as in the other arms of Kairos, spend several months in team formation preparing themselves for these roles and all make the ongoing commitment to walk alongside those young inmates who are ready to pursue positive life-change.